One of the best resources I've used to determine crime rates in the area is a crime mapper tool on my website. It will tell you exactly what has gone on in the neighborhood you're interested in over whatever time frame you choose.
Additionally, our local newspaper, http://www.sacbee.com, will carry local news on crime in the area as well.
The crimemaper tool can be found on my website in the left sidebar under "Resource LInks".
Best of luck,